President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih stated on Tuesday that ensuring and promoting the health and well-being of the general public is indispensable to safeguarding socioeconomic development. He made the statement while speaking at the function held to mark the 75th anniversary of the start of government-run healthcare in the country. The function was held at the Henveiru Stadium.
Addressing the function, President Solih extended greetings and well wishes to all healthcare professionals: those currently employed and those who had rendered invaluable services to the field over the past 75 years.
Highlighting the start of healthcare services in the country, the President noted that opening the first healthcare centre in Malé—the "Doctaruge"—in 1948 guided a significant shift in our lifestyles and a new era of economic development. He also highlighted the crucial role of private parties and healthcare facilities in Malé and the islands in modernising the country's healthcare system.
The administration has significantly enhanced the country's healthcare system over the past four years. Speaking in this regard, President Solih noted that his administration established the country's first mental health centre and founded a stroke centre in 2020, in addition to many other improvements.
The administration is also developing five tertiary hospitals, six hospitals with a capacity of 50 beds, and 12 hospitals with 30 beds across the country. Coupled with its efforts to upgrade healthcare centres across the country, the administration envisions the creation of numerous jobs in the healthcare sector with the completion of these projects.
President Solih also stressed that the administration had prioritised the development of the healthcare sector this year, with a significant budget earmarked for the sector. It encompasses introducing a new and improved pay framework for healthcare professionals, starting May 1. The President also highlighted the administration's efforts at capacity building in the healthcare sector through its free degree, student loan, and scholarship programmes.
The President also conferred awards on eight healthcare professionals who had served in the sector for over 40 years. The first government-run healthcare facility in the Maldives was opened on January 11, 1948.